How warm weather and bright light affect tree greening

Credit: Lin Meng

Lin Meng of this year’s Science & ScienceLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists, based on a study of how both global warming and bright city lights affect tree phenology (when leaves begin to grow in the spring). Received the highest award.In her dissertation published in the journal Chemistry, Meng outlines the study of satellite data showing urban green spaces, along with artificial light sources and trees growing in the Alps.

Previous studies have shown that high urban temperatures can affect vegetation growth. In this new initiative, Meng wondered what urban warming, combined with global warming, is doing every spring when trees “green”.To find out, she got and analyzed Satellite data This marks the time when trees begin to produce leaves each spring in 85 cities in the United States from 2001 to 2014.

She found that tree greening occurred on average six days earlier in urban areas than in rural areas. She also found that urban trees responded to climate change faster than rural trees.

Meng also wondered how bright light would affect the tree and that the tree would begin to grow its leaves at the beginning of each spring. She studied trees that grow in the European Alps. Not only is it a place with a fairly uniform temperature distribution, but we also note that the length of sunlight changes with latitude. She found evidence that early greenups were reduced, probably due to global warming. After that, I studied data from NASA’s Black Marble satellite. The satellite measured artificial light in the city and also studied bio-phenological data from the USA National Phenology Network. This allowed her to compare the situation in both cities with and without artificial light in the United States, and found that in the most extreme cases, artificial light boosted spring greening on the 9th.

Meng said that artificial light supplemented the day length, leading to the addition of early spring greening in the city. global warming..

Trees have been found to reduce urban land surface area temperatures up to 12 ° C

For more information:
Lin Meng, green with bio-phenology, Chemistry (2021). DOI: 10.1126 / science.abm8136

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How warm weather and bright light affect tree greening

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